Rajapaksa queries feasibility of 13th amendment

Lankan President was commenting on constitutional amendment that deals with devolving power to Tamil-dominated regions.

Published: 22nd April 2012 11:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:41 PM   |  A+A-

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has questioned the feasibility of the full implementation of the thirteenth amendment which talks about the devolution of power to Tamil-dominated provinces.

The Island newspaper today quoted Rajapaksa as saying that the thirteenth amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution had been forced on Sri Lanka by India.

The system of provincial councils for Sri Lanka was outlined in the Indo-Lanka peace accord of 1987. However full powers to the provinces remain yet to be conferred.

His remark came as India's opposition leader Sushma Swaraj urged Sri Lanka to work towards expeditious settlement of the national issue with consultation with the main Tamil party Tamil National Alliance.

Swaraj said Rajapaksa had told her that 13 plus would be given as the solution to end the impasse.

The paper quoted government sources as saying that Rajapaksa told Swaraj's 12-member delegation that he would not treat TNA as the sole representatives of the Tamils.

Rajapaksa also said that troops withdrawal from the north and east was not possible. The delegation urged demilitarisation of the former conflict zones.

Swaraj yesterday asserted that Rajapaksa promised her to ensure that military did not impede civilian life.

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